HomeAway Off-Platform Bookings & Fees
You may have heard that on April 2nd, 2018 HomeAway is going to start charging a 10% fee for off-platform bookings. We are creating this forum post in addition to some other resources to help you prepare for the change and answer any questions/concerns you may have regarding off-platform bookings & fees. Below are some references that explain in more detail what off-platform bookings are, who is affected, what the fee is, and MyVR is doing to help you avoid extra fees.
MyVR support article that explains the off-platform fees, how off-platform bookings are created in MyVR, and how to avoid them:
Announcement from HomeAway regarding the upcoming changes:
Some more information about attributing off-platform bookings to HomeAway and the booking update service (if you use MyVR's HomeAway applications for Owners or PMs, booking updates via the booking update service are handled automatically for you by MyVR) :
We look forward to hearing from you and will do our best to address any questions/concerns you may have about the upcoming changes.
How do you know which platform you are using? My VR HomeAway for Owners or My VR HomeAway for PMs? This is an important distinction in the article but I am not sure which application I use.
You can check which HomeAway application you're using by looking at your channels and seeing which one is installed.
Does Myvr share the name and email address or other personally identifiable information from non-HA bookings with HA/VRBO?
MyVR only reports that information back to HomeAway when the booking was the result of an inquiry that originated on HomeAway. MyVR uses the "Booking Update Service" that is described here. The benefits to this reporting are outlined in that HomeAway article. The information reported back to HomeAway has already been provided by the guest directly to HomeAway when they submit an inquiry or book your property. When you have an inquiry from another channel, or a direct inquiry (i.e. one that did not come from HomeAway), MyVR does NOT report those back to HomeAway via the booking update service.
@wendy-gold Thank you!
Thanks for the help on this transition. I have been testing these inquiries to make sure I know what my guests experience and to understand how it works.
I have a max occupancy of 4 people in my house. Sometimes people inquire for more, and sometimes I say yes. How can I handle this? If I give them a quote for 5 people, and it sends them to HomeAway, they can't book for 5 people through HomeAway (I just tried).
When I used to use HomeAway directly, in their dashboard, people could inquire for more than the max occupancy and I could reply and let them book online. I'm not sure how to handle this now.
Maybe I would tell them to book for 4 people on HomeAway and then I will accept it and revise the booking after acceptance? Seems like that would work and I am ok with that- just wondering.
Same thing if you want to offer someone special pricing- sometimes I send a quote with a better price or different dates to sweeten the deal. But I when they go to HomeAway, the prices just go back to HomeAway prices. So, maybe you have to offer to reduce the price after booking, charge less on the 2nd payment, etc?
Am I understanding correctly, @Jesse-Kasky that this only applies to HA/VRBO integrated listings?
Yes, that is correct. The fees only apply to HA/VRBO integrated listings, and the inquiries that they generate. If you receive an inquiry directly through your website or another channel that is not HA/VRBO then there is no fee.
I am wondering about the special pricing option. I offered it, but when they went to HomeAway to book, it reverted back to HomeAway prices. How do I handle this?
@gary-gena-davis Hello, I can shed some light on this question as well:
HomeAway (and other channels) are very strict on the content that can be sent to a customer while they are still a pre-booking or inquiry state. You'll notice additional things like the customer's email are filtered - this is done by HomeAway to prevent any possibility of a booking being taken off their platform and booked independently, and taking away their cut of the booking. HomeAway filters out links as well, so when you're making quote changes within MyVR, the renter isn't receiving any sort of updated payment link to pay the new quote.
That being said, after the renter commits and completes the booking, HomeAway is no longer strict about their messaging, and you would be able to send a revised quote. Here's how I recommend you handle this situation given HomeAway's restrictions:
- Have the renter navigate to your listing again and submit an inquiry for the correct dates
- Have them complete the booking with the correct set of dates, they would need to pay your full standard rate
- Once they have completed the booking, you would now be able to adjust the quote to reflect the discount, and the customer would be automatically refunded
One possible workaround would be to configure the rental rates for the property in a way that the customer wouldn't need a separate discount (creating custom rates.) That way when the customer makes an inquiry for those dates, the final price you intend to be charging them is already being reflected.